MIKE BALDASSARI is a Tony and two-time Emmy nominated Lighting Designer whose work has been seen live in more than twenty-five countries.
Some of his episodic television projects that are currently running include: THE PROBLEM WITH JON STEWART for Apple+, GAME THEORY WITH BOMANI JONES for HBO and Andrew Schulz’ weekly YouTube show FLAGRANT. Additionally he designed 2 seasons of DAVID LETTERMAN’S MY NEXT GUEST NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION. In the film world, he created the Theatrical Lighting for Rob Marshall’s movie musical NINE, as well as ROCK OF AGES starring Tom Cruise. Other film projects include GHOSTBUSTERS (2016), JOYFUL NOISE (Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah), SEX AND THE CITY 2, GOING THE DISTANCE and BROS.
Also for Rob Marshall (and Sam Mendes) he co-designed the Broadway hit revival of CABARET, which ran for 6 years at Studio 54, earning him Tony and Drama Desk Award Nominations and winning the Entertainment Design Award. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his lighting of U2’s Top of The Rock performance for the premiere of THE TONIGHT SHOW and for his Lighting Direction of GARTH BROOKS LIVE FROM CENTRAL PARK. Mike also collaborated on the concert lighting with director Jonathan Demme for the film NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW.
The iconic production of Mendes/Marshalls’ CABARET was again presented at the legendary Studio 54 on Broadway in 2014, with Alan Cumming reprising his role as the Emcee. Other Broadway highlights include the recent CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, and the musicals FIRST DATE, and HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, featuring the music of Tupac Shakur. Also on Broadway Mike designed IN RESIDENCE, which featured performances from Morrisey, Barry Manilow, Mel Brooks and Chris Angel among others. Off-Broadway credits include: AS YOU LIKE IT directed by John Doyle, BARE, WILD ABANDON, JEWTOPIA, SAVION GLOVER DOWNTOWN, and for City Center’s Encore Series; TENDERLOIN directed by Walter Bobbie. Also on Broadway; AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LAUGH, which he also adapted for television.
Other crossover theatre/tv projects include Kenny Ortega’s upcoming 1300 MILES TO BROADWAY, the adaptation of Billy Crystal’s MR. SATURDAY NIGHT for Broadway HD and AFTER MIDNITE at Signature Theatre Company.
Some of his televised concerts include; Mary J. Blige, Tim McGraw, Sam Smith and Garth Brooks as well as The Scorpions at Madison Square Garden that was broadcast internationally. He served as Production Designer for NYC STILL RISING at Madison Square Garden as well as for the Opening Ceremony of WORLD PRIDE NYC at Barclays Arena.
He has designed many Comedy specials for Netflix, Amazon, Comedy Central and YouTube including for Louis C.K., John Mulaney, Ray Romano, Joe Rogan, Bill Burr (at Fenway Park), Pete Davidson, Chris D’Elia, Catherine Cohen, Dana Carvey, Sam Jay and Bridget Everett.
Around the globe, he and Set Designer David Gallo created an all-new production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, which had thirteen separate companies throughout Europe, in seven languages. Mike designed multiple year tours of BLAST II for Japan and adapted CABARET for a run at Paris’ legendary Folies Bergere.
Some of the world premières Mike has designed include SOUL: The STAX MUSICAL, BEATSVILLE written by Glenn Slater, Tennessee William’s ONE ARM, adapted and directed by Moisés Kaufman for Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Ken Davenport’s SOMEWHERE IN TIME, “13” at The Mark Taper Forum, and “NERDS://A MUSICAL SOFTWARE SATIRE” at The Philadelphia Theatre Company. Live-action family entertainment tours have included MADAGASCAR LIVE! for Dreamworks, PBS’ DITTY DOODLE WORKS, SUPER WHY, and KIDZ BOP, based on the multi-platinum selling CDs. YO GABBA GABBA LIVE!, a touring version of the ultra-hip TV show produced by Michael Cohl’s S2BN had several successful runs over the course of 6 years and won the Billboard Touring Award for Creative Content.
National tours have includeds: Monty Python’s SPAM-A-LOT, ROCK OF AGES, RAGTIME, RING OF FIRE; The Music of Johnny Cash, MAN OF La MANCHA, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, FAME, SPIDER-MAN LIVE! GREASE, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, Yeston’s PHANTOM, SAVION GLOVER – FOOTNOTES, THE KING & I, DIAL "M" FOR MURDER, and TOMMY TUNE : MOONLIGHTING.
Other television designs include: Multiple episodes of DOCUMENTARY NOW! with Bill Hader and Fred Armisen and televised concerts including: The (RED) CONCERT & BROADCAST FROM TIMES SQUARE with U2, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, Carrie Underwood and Chris Martin. Many pre-tapes for LATE NIGHT w/ SETH MEYERS and for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (including some for the Digital Shorts series). For the Amex Unstaged Concert Series he designed MARY J. BLIGE LIVE FROM CLUB NOKIA, and SAM SMITH at The Apollo. Mike was honored to work with the Armed Services Network, designing TIM McGRAW: LIVE FROM THE HOMEFRONT, which was broadcast around the globe to all of the US Military bases and ships. Other television designs include: MTV’s SPANKIN’ NEW MUSIC, VH-1's EIGHT-TRACK FLASHBACK, and the CBS mini-series SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL. In 2000 he was the Lighting Consultant to Vice President Al Gore for the Presidential Debates.
In the music arena, he’s designed a number of spectacular finales for Phish’s New Year’s Eve shows at Madison Square Garden. He was the Production Designer for ALICE IN CHAINS’ 2010 BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE tour as well as their reunion tour in 2006 and tour with Velvet Revolver in 2007. He co-designed Neil Young’s CHROME DREAMS II tour worldwide and was the Lighting Director for Neil Young’s HARVEST MOON Tour. Other musical acts Mike has worked with include: Jerry Cantrell, Mos Def, John Mellencamp, Jonathan Butler, the Boxer Rebellion and Kurt Bestor.
For 20 years he designed the multi-media Upfront for CBS Television, broadcast in Hi-Def from Carnegie Hall (featuring acts including The Who, Mariah Carey, LL Cool J and Faith Hill). Twice he completed the design and coordination of over a dozen simultaneous Multi-Media productions for SANOFI-AVENTIS in Las Vegas, including an arena performance by Sheryl Crow.
Some of Mike's creations can be found among Rosco’s Signature Series Gobo Collection. He also originated a custom color "Baldassari Blue" (R-381), which is part of the Roscolux Gel Book. Some of the City Theatrical Catalog products that Mike had a hand in creating include the "Stacker Tophat" (for which Mike is listed on the Patent) and the "Broadway Music Stand Lite".
Mike has been inducted into the Parsippany Hills High School Hall of Fame for his work lighting Theatre, Film, Concerts and Television, and named to the inaugural class of inductees to the CT Alpha Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Distinguished Alumni.
Mike's best production, along with his wife Arlene, is their daughter Sophia. They reside in Hoboken, New Jersey (you gotta problem with that?) and East Hampton NY.